Plea in Supreme Court says he conspired to destroy evidence
The CBI on Tuesday asserted in the Supreme Court that bail granted by the Gujarat High Court to the former Minister of State for Home Amit Shah should be cancelled and the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case transferred outside the State.
Sohrabuddin Sheikh, an extortionist, was killed in the encounter on November 26, 2005.
Mr. Shah, who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on July 25, 2010 in this case, was granted bail on October 29 and released the same night. The next day the CBI moved the Supreme Court.
Beginning final arguments on its appeal before a Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai, Additional Solicitor-General Vivek Tankha, appearing for the CBI, said investigation revealed that Mr. Shah had, in pursuance of a criminal conspiracy, given illegal instructions on the probe into the Sohrabuddin case.
An important witness, Mohammed Azam, was kidnapped on September 21, 2010 when Mr. Shah was in judicial custody and there was enough material to show that some police officers had conspired to destroy crucial evidence, Mr. Tankha said.
Moreover, he said, the statements of several witnesses would bear testimony to the fact that Mr. Shah was using his power and position to obstruct the investigation, which was guided by the Supreme Court. There was documentary evidence on record that senior IPS officer Geeta Johri, who was supervising the Sohrabuddin case, was under tremendous pressure to tamper with evidence and witnesses.
At one stage, senior counsel Ram Jethmalani, appearing for Mr. Shah, objected to Mr. Tankha's allegations that certain documents were forged. He demanded an apology from the ASG for making “irresponsible and false statements without verifying records.” However, Mr. Tankha stuck to his submissions.
Arguments will continue on Wednesday.